Global market access

Market accessThe European materials handling industry is an exporting industry with a largely positive trade balance, not only globally but also with our main bilateral partners (Japan, the U.S. and even China).

In this context, free and fair access to foreign markets represents a strategic challenge. We fully support the conclusion of Free Trade Agreements with our most strategic trade partners. Trade dialogues should also serve to address tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and more generally protectionism wherever possible.

Technical differences are often an obstacle to trade. Within FEM, we have been developing technical standards not only at European but also at international level since the 1950s. Regulatory disparities are also an obstacle to trade and sometimes a burden on our competitiveness because of different national/regional product requirements. On a global market, basic regulatory obligations should be harmonised wherever possible and we certainly support collaborative efforts within regulatory dialogues between the EU and its main trade partners.

Overall our objective is to achieve global harmonisation of standards at industry and regulatory levels. This is one of the guiding principles that led to the creation of a World Materials Handling Alliance together with our American, Chinese and Japanese colleagues.

Key messages
Free and fair access to foreign markets
Global harmonisation of standards at industry and regulatory levels


Trade negotiations

FEM closely follows and, when appropriate, contributes to trade negotiations between the EU and other world partners. This is notably the case with the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations with the United States, which FEM follows in cooperation with other machinery associations and with Orgalime, the European Engineering Industries Association.


World Materials Handling Alliance

In 2014, FEM and its international colleagues in China, Japan and the U.S. officially launched a World Materials Handling Alliance. The initiative aims at enhancing collaboration among regional representative bodies for the benefit of the world materials handling industry.

The World Alliance works on global market trends and on regulatory and standards requirements for placing materials handling products on partners’ markets.

For more information, see WMHA Presentation